careertrend article image

How to Become an Insurance Adjuster

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

Investigate Claims and Earn a Solid Salary

If you love numbers, enjoy a good investigation and like being around people all day, a career as an insurance adjuster may be a satisfying way to earn a solid living. One advantage of working for an insurance company is that you usually have the opportunity to receive excellent coverage for you and your family. Your hours may vary, so ensure you have family support or reliable child care to keep things running smoothly at home while you work.

Job Description

Insurance adjusters investigate insurance claims, evaluate their merit and settle them. They decide whether a policy covers damages or expenses, how much it will covered and then negotiate payment for what is owed. Not all claims are straightforward, so a certain amount of investigation is required to determine how the damage occurred and to ensure that it’s not a fraudulent claim. Adjusters often meet with clients in the evening and on weekends and also may confer with medical professionals and legal counsel during the day. Insurance adjusters must be thoroughly grounded in their specialty field, whether it’s life insurance, auto insurance, health insurance, liability insurance or another insurance specialty.

Education Requirements

Insurance adjusters must earn a high school diploma or the equivalent to get started in the field. Some employers prefer those with a few years of work in a related field or a bachelor’s degree. Others look for people with a background in investigative skills, such as those who have worked as law enforcement officers or private investigators. Those working in the auto insurance field are more hirable when they have a few years of experience working in an auto repair shop at which they provided repair estimates.

The median annual salary for insurance adjusters is $63,670, which means that half earn more than this, while the other half earns less. The top 10 percent earns more than $95,760, while the bottom 10 percent earns less than $37,540.

About the Industry

Insurance adjusters work out of professional offices and balance their time between working at their desk and in the field, meeting with clients to investigate claims. They spend a good amount of time doing paperwork, emailing, talking on the phone and consulting with other professionals in the field. Adjusters who specialize in auto claims sometimes spend a great deal of time in body shops.

Years of Experience

Experience, field of specialty, geography and employer—all influence salaries for claims adjusters. Salary can vary widely, but one projection looks like this:

  • 1–2 Years: $53,842–$57,606
  • 3–4 Years: $56,158–$59,914
  • 5–6 Years: $57,606–$61,632
  • 7 or More Years: $58,088–$62,169

Job Growth Trend

Job opportunities for insurance adjusters is expected to decline by 1 percent over the next decade, so jobs can be competitive. Some of the tasks completed by adjusters in the past are now being completed by technology. With the aging of the baby boomer generation, opportunities in the health care industry may increase. Solid computer and technical skills, good connections and experience in an investigative field increase your chances of standing out amongst the competition.